Venus joins with Pluto & all Six Traditional Planets Precede the Sun – February Planet News

Sunrise2-cropJanuary seems to have flown by and we are into the shortest month, albeit with an extra day! It’s been hard to make any real forward progress with both Mercury and Jupiter retrograde for the first few weeks of the year. Mercury is now going forward again but there is still a sense of things being slow to get going. The planet that rules time and keeps our feet firmly, and sometimes frustratingly, on the ground is Saturn which has been having a strong influence lately.

Venus and Mercury remain in Saturn ruled Capricorn through early February, so use this time to get the plan together, write it down or communicate your intent. Venus is all about what, or who we want or like, appreciate, value and wish to include in our lives. She joins with Pluto on the 6th whilst making a hard angle to Uranus. Things could be intense in our relationships. Issues of money or personal resources can dredge up insecurity or the fear of lack.  But this is a day when we want the truth even if it takes us out of our comfort zone. This can be an honest self appraisal that gives the chance to break away from destructive habits. It’s a desire to hear the worst even if it shatters an idealistic dream so we can begin to build something more solid. This is just more of the “getting real” theme that weaves through our lives this year.

The early days of the month are also the best time, clouds permitting, to get a good view of all the traditional planets as they spread from East to West across the pre dawn sky. This is ongoing into the last week of February. The waning moon joins in the show until it passes to follow the Sun after the 8th. Visible, all at the same time, are Jupiter Mars, Saturn, Venus and Mercury.

Spread over several signs the planets don’t make any major connections to each other so its not especially significant on a personal level but it’s worth trying to spot them in the sky if you get the chance. On a more mundane level in traditional Astrology there is some significance that all the planets are rising ahead of the Sun, as if clearing the way for its appearance. The Sun would naturally represent the “king” or prominent ruler in world affairs, more commonly a politician in current times. Several significant world leaders are fighting to gain or regain political authority this year so this could reflect the rise of a leader on a path to power. In mystical terms the Sun or “king” can represent our own source of spiritual power or internal guiding force that is being given the focus now as it rises into a more dominant position in our awareness.

These first two weeks of the month gives us time to work out the details of any contracts or deals with Mercury’s help and get other people on board if they are showing willing. Take the opportunity to put it all together or at least get the outlines drawn out because the energy should shift by mid month when some real progress can be made at last. The Sun is currently in Aquarius and although this is still Saturn ruled it’s definitely a future oriented sign that wants to bring some really beneficial, and sometimes quite unique and original ideas into the world. When both Venus and Mercury move into Aquarius around mid month we could see some interesting possibilities being put forward and some of them might be worth going out on a limb for.

With several major planets mid sign this month the angles between them are easy and supportive. These lesser aspects can be helpful to give a boost even to the most challenging planets and so the second half of the month has this lighter, more flowing feel. The Sun moves in to Pisces on 19th  – a Jupiter ruled sign. Yes, we can finally breathe deeply and stretch out once more. We can look up and out for inspiration with the sense that clouds are lifting away and the horizon is widening at long last.

Capricorn New Moon, lets get physical – real world manifestation!

crescent moon

Let’s do something practical to really make the most of the Capricorn New Moon vibes. The New Moon is at 20° Capricorn on the 10th January at 1:31am (UT)

The first New Moon of the year falls in Capricorn, our sea goat sign, ruled by Saturn. New Moons are always a good starting point for any new initiative or direction and in Capricorn, a Cardinal earth sign, there’s the opportunity to really make some long term changes. When we decide we want to make life altering plans, or do our daily positive affirmations, or write lists of future intent, there has to be something more than just wishful hoping that it will simply all happen because we have declared it.

With the Sun Moon combination touching the Pluto Uranus square that still lingers with us, there is definitely the sense that so much more needs to shift if we are to live the life we prefer. Making changes isn’t an option – it’s essential! The first planet the Moon touches with its rays, after connecting with the Sun, is Jupiter in retrograde and next is that tricky Mercury also in retrograde. These two planets are re-treading old ground, renegotiating, redesigning and refining, making sure we have the full information and have definitely covered the details for when we finally discover that what we desire is coming in our direction.

Saturn, that planet that keeps our feet firmly on the ground, paired up with Venus for a couple of days, giving our Venusian desires a down to earth practicality. We want to include more of what’s both meaningful, and useful, now. Using the Capricorn way as an example, it’s time to reflect our desires in the physical world of stuff and things. Acting out our dreams, hopes or desires by doing something that represents the change we want to make, is very powerful. It doesn’t have to be the “big thing” all at once – just a gesture to the universe to say you mean it!

If you want world peace then take five minutes to sit or walk quietly without allowing the busy mind to interfere with you own inner peace. If it’s greater abundance you require then go around your house and count up the things you have already. If you want to kick a habit then just make a simple change, take a different route when you leave home.

Using the “making it real” energy that this January New Moon offers can really give your New Year optimism a very substantial and much needed boost.

2016 Astrology Forecast

Time 2016We start 2016 with lot’s of hope and anticipation for the good times ahead and even though it may take some months before we feel that this really is a trend in the right direction. By years end we might find ourselves living in a different reality to the one we’ve just left behind. 2016 is a year when the recent challenging cycles of the last ten years show us how they have prepared the way for our next phase of development. This year is likely to be a “game changer” and now each one of us has to choose how we are going to play it.  Read the Full 2016 Forecast

New Horoscopes column for 2015

zodiac wheelMy new horoscope column for Woh! magazine covers mid June to mid July and is out now.

This new monthly Irish publication is a glossy chat, fashion & trend style magazine and I’m writing the Horoscopes.

Currently the column is not exclusive to the magazine but this may change in the following months so to read the latest horoscopes it may be a case of making sure you manage to pick up a copy!

Mid month the whole magazine can be read online here for free!

Enjoy!

May Planet Update – Beltaine, Full Moon in Scorpio – Passions run high

Planets15thCThe month of May begins with the celebration of Beltaine, a cross quarter day and fire festival which marks the halfway point of the Sun’s journey between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Although most commonly associated with Mayday and the 1st May the actual mid point falls a few days later – on the 5th this year. Many of the traditional customs that have survived through the ages represent a form of cleansing and re-seeding in preparation for the bountiful summer months.

With the Sun in the earthy sign of Taurus at this time of year the connection with our physical body and natural environment is very strong. At full Moon there is a culmination or peak in energy and because the Moon is always in the opposite sign to the Sun at the Full Moon phase, so we also have all the intense associations of Scorpio involved. Passions of all kinds can run high and emotions can go deep as a whole range of material, physical and practical issues come to a head. Whether this manifests as a satisfactory completion or a critical climax it is likely to be quite an event because Jupiter, known for it’s ability to exaggerate whatever it touches, is hitting a hard angle at both the Sun and Moon from fixed fire sign Leo. This Moon phase could highlight issues of individual personal expression as a human right particularly when it concerns any subject that has been considered a social taboo.

We can expect to have our beliefs and level of openness to new ideas challenged over the next few weeks as Saturn, planet of limitation and restraint is now in it’s retrograde phase, moving back to re-enter Scorpio in mid June. The small but powerful planet Pluto in Capricorn also turned to retrograde during April and will be in reverse until late September. This gives us the impetus to go back over some important and fundamental areas of our life. Looking at the systems, structures and supports which are no longer valid or sustainable, with a view to re-building or completely transforming what isn’t working well is the theme once more.

As the action planet Mars moves into Gemini mid month and confronts Saturn there will be an increase in the tempo of communications and information exchanges but it could be just a lot of “hot air” without the required will to follow through on any positive action.

The New Moon in Taurus on the 18th will bring us back to considering our core values and possibly a desire to indulge in the simpler things of life. On the 19th Mercury, in it’s own sign of Gemini and natural representative for all communications, travel and exchanges, turns to go retrograde until the second week of June. The emphasis is firmly on reconsidering, re-negotiating, revising and re-writing documents, travel arrangements, deals and trading. This provides an opportunity to edit, proof read or check the “small print” before we sign on the dotted line or embark on something new.

When Venus, ruling planet of Taurus, now in Cancer moves into exact opposition to Pluto on 22nd you may experience some resistance to your desires if they are just about fulfilling your own needs. The chances are that as Venus moves on to oppose unpredictable Uranus in Aries on 25th there may be the recognition once again that even excitement and high tension can become tedious and the simpler things of life can bring a longer lasting satisfaction so a deeper sense of nourishment can be enjoyed.

April Full Moon Lunar Eclipse aligns with Uranus & Pluto

tree of life17thCA breakdown, breakthrough or break out! With a potential for release of tension & necessary discharge of emotional energy this Lunar eclipse is an opportunity for another major step in our important relationships & self development.

After last month’s peak in astrological excitement April is going to seem quite unremarkable by comparison. We do though have some planetary events that hold great potential for really working with, and moving on from, what was brought out in these recent weeks.

The month opens with a fire trine aspect between the Sun in Aries and Jupiter in Leo on 2nd. This is a powerful “up beat” energy boost from two planets that bring a positive energetic vibe working together to bring out the best of their respective traits. Use this as an opportunity for creative expansion, exciting adventure or the inspiration to embark on a new enterprise.

On the 4th we have this months headline event – a total lunar eclipse! Although not visible in Europe we can still experience the astrological effects. At every Full Moon the Sun is on one side of the earth and casts it’s light onto the face of the Moon on the opposite side of the earth. When the earth is in exact alignment in the middle (twice each year) it’s shadow obscures the Moon for about 2 hours, hence the eclipse.

As the Moon reaches it’s culminating phase at Full so we can expect the fulfilment of whatever was in focus at the last New Moon (the solar eclipse of March) and being a lunar eclipse this is a time of great release. If you sensed the tension that built up during last month as Uranus and Pluto reached their final exact square and then felt some relief after the Solar eclipse you might recognise some of that same energy being expressed again in early April. Both the Sun and Moon align with Uranus and Pluto within orb of the lunar eclipse degree.

Our intentions, aims and personal will was aligned during last months solar eclipse and now we can clear away remaining emotional blockages, fears or inhibitions that prevent us moving more fully in to the new possibilities. Just a couple of hours after the lunar eclipse the Moon will be square to Pluto which can dredge up old fear feelings or deep seated issues that have been unconsciously inhibiting our responses. The Moon is then opposite Uranus just four hours after the eclipse which could bring a sudden emotional discharge, unexpected breakthrough – or a break away!

As the Sun connects with Pluto on the 5th and then Uranus on the 6th the solar energy of self determination gets another stimulating kick towards the, recently revealed, new version of yourself. The next planet to get involved in this game (on the 8th) is Mercury, who represents our thinking process, communications and way of exchanging ideas and information. This could bring about a revolutionary shift or change in what you think, or say, and even how you express your innermost or secret thoughts.

The overall effect of this dynamic pattern around the lunar eclipse could produce a powerful emotional release. If you’re ready, and welcoming the current changes, it can be an exciting step forward. If however you’re resistant to upheaval in your personal life it could mean a rough ride for a couple of weeks. This phase is a further shedding of old patterns or reactions and a time to let go of the past. Anything that we cling to as familiar or that gives us a sense of security or well being but is actually more of a limitation than a comfort needs to be discarded. As the big “feel good” future orientated planet, Jupiter ends its retrograde phase to move forward once more, also on the 8th, we can really get a stronger sense of the new and very inviting horizon that’s coming into view.

Astrology of 2014 part one The Overview

For a detailed look at the year ahead through the seasons read part two

New Years day 2014 is an auspicious time to make your resolutions . The New Moon on the morning of 1st January is in the sign of Capricorn, the determined and renowned strategist, which couldn’t be better for setting out with clear intentions. Getting off on the right foot might be an essential move with some fairly challenging astrological dynamics to be negotiated in the coming months.

Astrological hotspots will be mean a particularly powerful year for some. If you were born during the first week of January, April, July or October or with significant personal planets in Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn, particularly if those planets are at 11-15 degrees you can expect this to be a momentous year. For those born during July or the first two weeks of August, this year is the high point in a 12 year cycle so you can watch out for welcome opportunities and be prepared to make some serious headway.

2014 falls in the midst of a whole wave of planetary movements relevant to the massive change, upheaval, uncertainty and renewal that’s apparent around the globe. The major transits this year feature strong oppositions and square angles which bring conflict and confrontation between differing standpoints. On an outer level we’ll see this confrontational energy being manifest in every direction around the globe with war, extreme weather, anti- “something” protests, power struggles and opposition to just about everything.
The exciting news is that during this current epoch we have the opportunity for a very different experience.

By looking more closely at each of the planets playing a significant role we can build up a picture of the year ahead. There are some strong underlying themes that will be affecting us all during 2014.

When our attention is fully engaged by various quarrels, either watching it on the global news or as personal experiences in our work or family life, there’s no room for simple acts of care and respect. Eventually at least one of the opposing sides in a dispute will get weary of the constant battle. At that moment there is finally the opportunity for real change, but it usually requires total exhaustion from the prolonged stress of relentless conflict to bring it about. For the sake of peace and a relief from age old struggles there is finally an acknowledgment of the others right to hold a differing viewpoint. This year has the potential to set us firmly on a new path.


Pluto in Capricorn 2008 – 2023

The small but powerful planet Pluto moved into Capricorn during 2008 and remains there until 2023. It takes Pluto about 245 years to return to a zodiac sign and during each of it’s previous visits to Capricorn we’ve seen the rise and fall of great nations. During these years we will witness the destruction and replacement of structures that have outlived their time and usefulness. A complete restructuring of economic systems, methods of government, and religious organisations will be instigated with ruthless pragmatism. Concepts of control and power will undergo radical transformation. Pluto is associated with deep and fundamental changes in our collective and personal psyche. Each of us holds a store of information on an unconscious level. This is made up of social, cultural, emotional and environmental conditioning, patterns of thought and behaviour laid down without any conscious knowledge. Pluto, working on the collective “unconscious” will bring these patterns into view as thoughts and beliefs played out as events in our daily lives. Here we can see them in action and choose to accept them as justifiable, or alternatively, question their validity, especially when these thoughts and beliefs are the cause of suffering to ourselves or others.

Uranus in Aries 2010 to 2019

Uranus, with it’s eccentric orbit is known to bring unexpected deviations and unpredictable outcomes. Transits can trigger the urge for individual freedom, bringing rebellion, revolution and reform. In the warrior sign of Aries, people are courageous and will stand-up or fight for what they believe to be right. Aries, as the first sign in the zodiac, represents the individual before there is any relationship to possessions, status or other people. Aries is about asserting the unattached and willful self. The archetypal Warrior cannot afford to pause for consideration of the consequences or outcomes of their actions. We’ve witnessed throughout the history of the world that when this is force is expressed as righteousness it often results in religious and political fanaticism or extremism.
Stressful planetary contacts to Uranus also trigger financial depressions and sudden stock markets crashes. Over these years we will see the abrupt downfall of governments and revolt against oppressive authority.
When Uranus was last in Aries during 1927 -1935 we not only saw a rise in fascism, world war and economic collapse but also many positive new ways of thinking, technical breakthroughs, inventions and a social reforms.

The energy of Uranus brings us out of our comfort zone, it can be an unpleasant jolt or a mind numbing shock but it’s always a wake up call! “Waking Up” has become the catch phrase of the decade and many people on the planet can now really feel the effect of this process as it rallies us to shake off any mental emotional or spiritual inertia. It can be experienced like slowly waking from a dream or being wrenched suddenly from a slumber. Whatever way it occurs, a new perception of reality is emerging on the planet. We are all being woken up to realise something about who or what we are and our true nature and relationship to this world and each other.

Uranus square Pluto 2012 to 2015

These mighty and powerful planets in this stressful combination are capable of implementing massive change. This compelling force is experienced individually through the events of daily life whilst it also affects the entire population of the world. Historically the square aspect between these planets has coincided with economic collapse and the most recent previous event was when Uranus was in Aries and Pluto was in Cancer during the 1930s, bringing both the Great Depression and the rise of fascism in Europe. We are likely to see some of the most challenging effects of this transit culminating in 2014 as the square aspect occurs during both April and December in combination with other potent planetary formations. This creates many “make or break” scenarios as we have to acknowledge that we can’t go back to how things were. Things brought out into the open in recent years cannot be ignored or understated simply for the sake of keeping a reassuring status quo. Having been shocked, awoken and enlightened to the true state of things, only the very determined can keep their heads buried in the comfort of familiar distractions. On the positive side, this aspect brings welcome regeneration and exciting breakthroughs. We can expect accelerated technological advances as well as radically new ways of thinking and mass shifts in consciousness to emerge over the next few years. Awareness can sometimes be unpleasant at first as we have to release the old understanding to adjust to a new perspective. But once the realisation has fully formed there is an uplifting sense of relief and freedom that comes into existence. This is especially possible during Pluto’s retrograde phase mid April to late September.

Jupiter opposite Pluto 2013 -2014

This antagonistic aspect began during July-August 2013 and continues from December 2013 through to May 2014. Jupiter is generally known to be the “feel good” planet bringing us the “new and improved” version of whatever it connects with. These characteristic qualities are expressed through expansion. When Jupiter comes into a stressful angle with a difficult planet such as Pluto it can amplify or exaggerate deeply held beliefs and unconscious behaviour. National, political, religious, ideological differences are likely to be enforced. Cultural prejudices may escalate. Beliefs that previously seemed unquestionable may be completely undermined as they no longer stand up under close scrutiny. This time period brings several of the current astrological themes to a peak. Here is an opportunity to walk away from restricting ideologies, inherited social conventions or a world view which is no longer relevant. Jupiter as a benevolent guide is at it’s most honorable in the sign of Cancer and seeks to express greater truth, freedom and integrity. As we are touched by this energy dynamic it becomes apparent where in our lives any unconscious thoughts prevent those more liberating qualities being uppermost.

Jupiter square Uranus February – May

From mid February through to early May the massive planet Jupiter moves into an uncomfortable angle to erratic Uranus completing the line up for the impending Grand Cross in April. These are both future orientated planets neither of which are content with the status quo and have little regard for well made plans or time tested methods. Jupiter’s association with faith and beliefs stirred up by an offbeat Uranus in headstrong Aries, can produce an outburst of irrational concepts with a determination to defend them regardless of their lack of integrity. On the inner level this can bring timely insight into areas where we limit ourselves unnecessarily. For those who are ready to accept new possibilities, perspectives or a way of being, this can mean the beginning of living life without the need for control or reliance on external factors for their well being.

Mars Retrograde March – May

Once every two years Mars makes an apparent backward motion known as a retrograde. During this time the normal dynamic energy of action orientated Mars is impeded so we can’t expect things to run at the regular tempo. The usual character of Mars is to activate and to accelerate so during this phase it’s best not to initiate anything of significance as there isn’t the vitality required to keep the momentum going to fulfillment. There may be a sense of impatience or frustration as the forward thrusting energy slows down to a crawling pace. Those that do push ahead will be disappointed, whether in war, legal cases, political reforms or love affairs. The desired outcome never materialises. With Mars in the Cardinal sign of Libra the emphasis is on social situations between equals. This could be relationships between lovers as well as business partnerships or any area of life that demands co-operation, consideration, diplomacy and compromise. The retrograde period is best utilised for planning, negotiating arrangements and inward contemplation of any issues that may be highlighted during the intense Cardinal Cross in April.

The Grand Square and Cardinal Cross April 2014

April is an exceptionally busy month in the Astrologers calendar this year. It brings together all the major trends of the current era in one full blast. Just hours after Pluto turns retrograde on 14th the first Lunar eclipse of the year occurs on 15th with a Solar eclipse on 29th . On the 20th – 23rd, Pluto, Uranus, Jupiter and Mars form a cross in the cardinal signs, Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. This is a culmination in a series of square patterns that started when Jupiter moved into Cancer during August 2013. With three planets already in place, events are triggered when the fourth planet moves to occupy the empty space in the cross formation. Mars as the timekeeper, fulfills this when all four planets will be at exactly 13-14 degrees of their signs. Personal or international events with the same theme will be highlighted again in mid December when Pluto and Uranus repeat the Square aspect once more.

Pluto in it’s retrograde motion during this formation puts the emphasis on inward reflection with a strong ability to transform and regenerate. With the harsh tension held in the square aspects, expect this pivotal period to bring crisis in some form. The true meaning of crisis is a turning point or juncture and this astrological dynamic brings us to a metaphorical and possibly, a literal crossroads.
Cardinal signs are especially powerful for initiating new ventures and pioneering ideas. This combination of astrological forces suggest a time when a radical change in our consciousness, perception and awareness occurs.

Beyond belief – What’s true for you in 2014

The perhaps strange and radical idea that we really don’t need to change anything, even ourselves, is one of the hot spiritual topics that will become a signature of this year. The change that is due to occur is in what we believe about the world, each other and ourselves. The actual changes that need to occur can then get on with it – soon we will be living our lives according to what actually is true, reality rather than an idea, and we will all be a lot happier as a result! This year brings us the opportunity to find out what’s real and what is simply a belief about what’s real.

The current upheaval in the world largely exists because the majority of people on the planet, whether rich or poor, are in a state of inner turmoil, unhappy and, or, want to do something to change their condition.
Inner tension, lack of clarity, confusion and unhappiness occurs when we don’t like what we see or experience. We don’t like it, so we want to change it. Problems occur because that change usually means either changing someone else, or life circumstances, to fit with our own idea of how it should be. Most of us interpret life events and situations in-line with our personal, national or cultural world view, or to uphold what we “know” to be true. We are always looking for everyone, and life itself, to agree with us so we can know we are right and therefore safe. If what we see doesn’t fit with what we approve of or consider to be right, we dislike it and generally anything that opposes our belief is regarded as a threat. The current events of disruption, conflict, social breakdown, economic collapse, excessive controls, restriction of personal freedoms etc. will continue as long as there is someone, or the actions of a group of people, who believe themselves to be right, and by necessity, believe someone else to be wrong.

Becoming aware that being right doesn’t have to make others wrong, whilst realising that if we stop trying to change things to fit our personal idea of how things should be there’s a good chance things could actually all turn out alright without our interference. In doing this we have the chance to awaken to a new possibility and a new way of being in the world. This is potentially the most momentous shift in human consciousness to occur in aeons.

By fully utilising this year’s provocative planetary energy to confront ourselves, rather than everyone else, we can challenge personal beliefs, thoughts and desires to see if they represent what is really true for us each as an individual. Simply following habitual opinions, behaviours or attitudes handed down through social, cultural or political systems is no longer an option. This is a pivotal year which may demand some sincere personal inquiry. Each of us can choose how to move forward from here.

Part 2 – The Details

December Astrology Update

The month starts with a Venus and Mars theme. The planets of love and war are giving us a reminder about what we want in life and what’s really important and we might realise they aren’t the same thing. Venus in Capricorn has her feet on the ground and wants to achieve real, tangible results. As she briefly joins Pluto on the 1st you may see some hidden desires come to light or an exposure of true values and this could change your position or understanding. The next act in this little drama is on the 2nd as the truth seeking Sagittarian Sun makes a challenging square angle to Mars in critical Virgo. As the Sun’s rays illuminate conflicting desires the clash can spark an angry response. Then some kind of resolution occurs as peace seeking Venus makes a harmonious trine to impulsive Mars on the 5th making a mutually beneficial outcome possible. These scenarios may occur in your personal life or on the world stage and may not seem significant now but there is a bigger drama unfolding that will need the support of this good will and compromise as we head into next year.
The Full Moon is the first culmination of energies coming out of the last solar eclipse on 25th November. In Gemini it will highlight issues of communication and probably mis-information or attempts to withhold the truth. Look to all the media, internet, journalism, and public speeches as the serious flaws inherent within them become apparent. Coinciding with the Full Moon the unpredictable planet Uranus starts its forward motion once more having returned to the position it was in late March. Events of unrest or promises of change and reform from back then will re- surface and there’ll likely be reason to question what we thought, or were told, was true at the time.
Mercury is also playing his part in exposing a sham that we thought was a model of free speech and access to information. The messenger planet is retrograding in Sagittarius until the 14th and many deals, contracts, promises or negotiations made since the solar eclipse will have to be re-visited as they are unlikely to suit the new conditions or hold up in the light of our recent knowledge.
The New Moon in Capricorn on 24th starts a new lunar cycle and the potential for further restructuring of our social, political and financial systems. The Sun/Moon combination joins with the powerful undermining force of Pluto and makes a stressful square angle to radical Uranus. At the same time they receive a supportive trine from expansive Jupiter in Taurus which now begins its forward journey once more. This could set off a new cycle of inflation and debt and certainly put a focus on the value of money. At the same time the mood of the masses make it clear that despite the power lust of some there is a strong force towards redistributing the resources to benefit the majority.

The next Full Moon is at 19° Gemini on the 10th December at 2:38 pm and the next New Moon is at 3° Capricorn on the 24th December at 6:07 pm

Astrology January 2011

The potential for beneficial opportunities and great leaps forward were written in the sky with a partial Solar eclipse in Capricorn and the Jupiter Uranus conjunction in Pisces on 4 January. Astrologically the New Year got off to a flying start. The Capricorn theme of personal endeavour or duty and responsibility combined with an enthusiasm for change will be evident as the year unfolds. The full effects of an eclipse can take several weeks or months to materialise but are often triggered by a swift moving planet passing over the zodiac degree it was in at the time. The first possibility is when quicksilver messenger planet Mercury does so on the 23rd just after Jupiter enters the feisty sign of Aries. This could be the time to speak out against an affront to individual freedom or perhaps you get news of someone taking a stand in defiance against a perceived injustice. The Sun finally leaves the Capricorn sign of the sea goat just hours after it shines its full light on the Moon. The Full Moon represents a culmination and provides a release point, a letting go or time of completion and endings as we prepare to move into the next phase. Potentials that were set in motion during the previous New Moon can come to fruition. This is especially true now as it falls at 29 degrees of the nurturing sign of Cancer. The last degree of a sign is traditionally considered to be critical or a decisive turning point. At the same time the Moon, strong in her own sign makes a beneficial trine aspect to both abundant Jupiter and freedom loving Uranus. So we can expect some fresh starts or maybe even an unexpected turn of events which leads us in a new and positive direction. This maybe one of those “lucky accident” moments that unburdens us of something we didn’t know how to get out of on our own. The month ends as Capricorn’s ruling planet Saturn, turns to move backwards through Libra for the next several weeks. This is when we have the chance to revisit the responsibilities, ties and commitments we have made to others and reconsider or re-negotiate the terms so they are sustainable and can withstand the test of time.

April 2010 Pluto retrograde

This month sees two planets turn retrograde. A planet is said to be in retrograde motion when it appears to travel backwards from our earthly perspective. All the planets do this periodically and the faster moving bodies do it more frequently. The Sun and Moon, also known as the Luminaries are the exception and always move in a direct or forward motion. Astrologically a planet in retrograde will express itself in a more inward and personal way.
Mercury will be in a retro phase from 18 April through to 11 May. Mercury is the planet of communication, acting like quicksilver, fast and hard to pin down. It also rules local travel and our thinking process. Although it has become popular to expect everything to go wrong during a Mercury retro phase this is far from the truth of the event. The slowing down and backward motion provides us with an important chance to re-evaluate, re-negotiate or re-consider where we might otherwise have pressed ahead only to have to return to it later. Use this phase to catch up with the paperwork.
The slow moving Pluto is also about to turn retrograde, 7 April through to 14 September. The nature of this heavyweight ‘planet’ is to purify and transform all that’s not working towards our best interests. It does this from within and will often bring to light previously unrecognised problems that have been blocking our progress. Pluto acts as a purging agent and can sometimes feel uncomfortable. We are often quite attached to the things, habits, beliefs, relationships or structures that need to be cleared out to make way for a new and improved version! This is a great time to undertake any kind of psychological therapy, diet cleanse or detox programme. Pluto turning retrograde in Capricorn will remind us that our outer world is only as good as our inner world and that there is work to be done. Specifically it will show us where things are not working within our social systems, governments, financial and other institutions as a result of our collective human failings. Though we may have already seen the result of failures in our social structures we may not have seen much change in their way of operating. This important retrograde period is a big ‘reality check’ and will initiate a deep reconsideration about the long term sustainability of these organisations. Attention will have to be given to our personal social responsibilities and obligations to the wider community. During this Pluto retrograde phase we will see the beginnings of necessary change at the very grass roots of our society.